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MED3/343: Networked Learner Support in Continuing Medical Education

L Fox; E Dolman; D Hornby; P Lane; A O'Rourke; C Roberts; T Roscoe

University of Sheffield Community Sciences Centre, Sheffield, UK


Introduction: This paper reports data from the second year of the WISDOM research project. This project has established a framework for the delivery of continuing medical education and professional development using information and communication technologies, with a particular focus on networked professional development (NPD) for clinical governance.
Methods: An action research project.
Results: The association of a web site providing resource materials (tutorials, electronic links and other information) with networking technologies, such as e-mail discussion groups and newsgroups, has been demonstrated to be effective in delivering curricula in informatics, evidence-based practice and reflective practice. The virtual classroom may be adapted to serve a number of objectives, and can be adapted to operate as a virtual conference and as a mechanism for research data collection methods, such as the Delphi methodology. The project's findings indicate that there is a need for a coherent policy of networked learner support (NLS) in such virtual classrooms. NLS includes:
  • support on the development of adult-learning and reflection skills in participants
  • active facilitation of learning within an adult-learning model
  • mechanisms for assessment which reflect adult learning approaches (for example, a portfolio approach or personal learning plan)
  • a mechanism for mentoring participants to enable them to achieve their learning objectives
Conclusion: It is argued that NPD and NLS must be further researched if information and communication technologies are to be fully exploited as delivery mechanisms in professional development.

(J Med Internet Res 1999;1(suppl1):e46)


Education, Medical, Graduate; Information technology; Networked Professional Development; Networked Learner Support

Edited by G. Eysenbach; This is a non-peer-reviewed article. published 19.09.99

Please cite as:
Fox L, Dolman E, Hornby D, Lane P, O'Rourke A, Roberts C, Roscoe T
MED3/343: Networked Learner Support in Continuing Medical Education
J Med Internet Res 1999;1(suppl1):e46
doi: 10.2196/jmir.1.suppl1.e46

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Except where otherwise noted, articles published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.